Friday, August 31, 2012

Feminism and the power of social media #destroythejoint


In the past week much has been written about the trolls of social media, cowards who hide behind their keyboards spewing out hate. But yesterday we were given a startling reminder of just how hateful traditional media can be; and how social media can be a source of empowerment rather than victimisation.

It is no great surprise that the reminder came from shock jock Alan Jones, who sitting safely behind his microphone, viciously attacked Australia's Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and a string of other women in positions of political power. He not only said "women are destroying the joint" but added "There's no chaff bag big enough for these people".

It was more of the same from a man who is famous for wearing his hate, rather than his heart, on his sleeve; a man who doesn't need to hide behind a keyboard but is instead paid a fortune for his particularly ugly brand of broadcasting. And a man who is not alone. Just think Kyle Sandilands and the companies who are more than happy to attach their products to the politics of hate that they both peddle.

Rather than lie down and take it, the women of twitter rose up. With the hashtag #destroythejoint cleverly coined by Jane Caro, the fun began. Before long Jane and the hashtag were trending and #destroythejoint merchandise was on sale thanks to the fast work of @yvettevignando. In a beautiful twist funds raised from the sale of this merchandise will go to supporting refugees, another target of Jones’ hate.

Words that were meant to degrade and undermine women instead became a clarion call to action. The women of twitter became keyboard warriors of the best sort, using social media to mock (and dare I say it, destroy) one of the most arrogant and politically powerful voices of MSM.  

12 comments:

  1. Oh, I love that term "keyboard warriors". I'm here, and I'm armed. Great post, thanks. No wonder we kept running into each other in the political sessions at BlogHer12.

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    1. I might be carrying a light sabre these days. Maybe we can host a #destroythejoint panel next year ;-)

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  2. Alan Jones and that other bloke who believes women don't get pregnant when they're raped have done an exemplary job of demonstrating just how stupid and ignorant misogyny actually is. A powerful aspect of this new social meme, #destroythejoint, unwittingly triggered by Jones's words and so enthusiastically and joyfully embraced by women, is that lots of good men are also fired up to put an end to such nonsense. Truly, it's awesome. "keyboard warriors" [chuckle]love it!

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    1. Thanks Carolyn. It is wonderful to see this outpouring in response to attitudes that are so archaic.

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  3. So I am a Keyboard Warrior?! Glad to know this, Sister! Loving your work as always xxx

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    1. :-) loved your post too! Armed with our keyboards we can do anything.

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  4. I can see a book title here "101 Ways to Get Up The Nose of a Pontificating Parrot"
    Love your work and you have my full support, and by the way, where can I purchase some of the merchandise?
    Cheers
    Stuart Connolly

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    1. Thanks Stuart! Click on the link in the post (destroying the joint merchandising) and it should take you there.
      Michelle

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  5. Lately I've been feeling a little down about social media...but then along came #destroythejoint to put the smile back on my face.

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    1. I so agree. Something v positive has been unleashed. I am excited.

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  6. Logging on to social media these days seems a little like a game of roulette- you have no idea where the massese are going to direct their energy - but the Jane Caro reponse was great (and increases/inspires similar positive responses in future, I think). All discrimination and ignorance should be dealt with so quickly :)

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